Covid-19 and children: what does the science tell us, and what does this mean as the lockdown is eased?

14 May

Tim Many thanks for this, balanced and thorough as ever. A concern that I have, which seems not to have surfaced so far in others observations and is particularly relevant to the return of children to school, is that the interests of adults seems to to dominate the interests of children in this matter. Given that the evidence thus far indicates that children are less likely to be infected and less likely to infect, then logically you would expect their return to school to be less controversial than the return of their parents to work. Yet many have never stopped work through this pandemic and others are now being encouraged to return to work as quickly as possible. For children, this is made worse by the effect that being locked down has on them. The effect of being prevented form playing with other children and isolated from their peers.

Perhaps worst of all is the fact that in preventing children from returning to school, often in the name of their safety, we are actually more concerned with the safety of the adults who teach and serve them. Once again we are putting the interests of adults in front of the interests of children and doing it in their name. I am not sure if i am making my case clearly, or if it is valid as I have not heard anyone else make this observation. If it is true, then we should be calling “them” out, as their hypocrisy is having a really serious impact on those who they profess to protect.

Rethinking Childhood

Key points

As this is a longish post – perhaps a 10-minute read – here are the main takeaways:

  • Children are much less likely to become seriously ill from Covid-19 than adults, and appear less likely to become infected.
  • Unlike with influenza, it appears that children are not more likely than adults to spread the disease, and may be significantly less likely.
  • There are good grounds for thinking that outdoor environments present a low risk of infection compared to indoor ones, especially where the time spent in close proximity to other people is short.
  • Pandemic control measures are likely to lead to significant collateral damage to children, with the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children worst affected.
  • Government, local authorities and other public agencies should take a balanced approach to supporting children through the pandemic. They should:
    • Encourage schools and child care centres to take learning activities outdoors, prioritising…

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